Sinister little buggers, ventriloquist’s dummies. But those wooden weirdoes and the people behind them provided inspiration for Brighton’s electronic funk superstars, Fujiya & Miyagi, when the title track set the tone for their deepest, most accomplished album to date.
[audio:Fujiya & Miyagi – ventriloquizzing.mp3]“Ventriloquizzing comes from the idea of people speaking for you, like adults do with babies,” says singer/guitarist David Best.
“Dummies are thought of as creepy; they can reflect a split personality, and that relates to the idea of being in a group, where you are presented as one entity, even though everyone comes from different angles and thinks about one thing very differently from the others. To reflect this, the four piece band (David plus bassist Matt Hainsby, synth player Steve Lewis and drummer Lee Adams) had a set of four Fujiya & Miyagi dummies made up, initially with the idea of sending them to photo and video shoots in place of the band. “Once or twice I’ve been caught with the little doppelgänger on my knee chatting away,” says Matt. “I’m not sure it’s the most healthy pastime.”
Fujiya & Miyagi | Ankle Injuries
The band’s fourth album, Ventriloquizzing finds Fujiya & Miyagi returning with a renewed sense of purpose. “We wanted to make a record that was different from anything we had done before,” says David. Bassist Matt Hainsby agrees: “We wanted to try things that would take us in a new direction musically and create a different atmosphere.” And the atmosphere is notably darker than before. From the glam stomp of download taster Sixteen Shades of Black & Blue and on, the mood is forceful, aggressive and confrontational, but all the while maintaining the taut, minimalistic funk that’s become their calling card.
“It’s quite an accusatory record, but you never know why, or what the target of the accusation has done,” says David. “I think there’s an underlying anger, or perhaps just annoyance, at institutions and people in general, and probably ourselves too.” Topics touched on include over-medication, eco-hypocrisy and the myth of Chanctonbury Ring, where it’s said if you run round a clump of trees backwards seven times the devil will appear and offer you soup. The song’s called Minestrone. The spirit of the new is also helped along by the involvement of producer Thom Monahan, known for his work with Vetiver, Au Revoir Simone and Devendra Banhart.
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Fujiya & Miyagi LIVE
Thursday, 10 March 2010 | 20:00 CET
Lido | Cuvrystraße 7 | 10997 Berlin/Kreuzberg